From London's Ghost Acres

Camphor is a waxy solid, extracted from the wood of Camphora officinarum, but it can also be obtained from the leaves of rosemary, trees in the laurel family, and can be produced synthetically from oil of turpentine. Camphor is absorbed through the skin, producing a warming or cooling sensation, and can be taken orally in small doses. (

It is included in a wide range of remedies that are administered both topically and orally. Savory notes that camphor can be used to treat restlessness, typhus fever, hysteric and nervous complaints, rheumatism and certain other inflammatory complaints, including painful muscles and joints, scald-head, chapped hands, and chilblains, along with other ailments.

British Pharmacopoeia 1867

Camphor Camphora

“A concrete volatile oil obtained from the wood of Camphora officinarum” Imported from China and Japan, and purified (sublimated) in England [1]

Characteristics “White, translucent, and crystalline; has a powerful penetrating odour, and a pungent taste followed by a sensation of cold; floats on water; volatilises slowly at ordinary temperatures; is slightly soluble in water, but readily soluble in rectified spirit and in ether.” Given in the dosage of 1-10 grains.[2]

Preparations of Camphor

Camphor Water / Aqua Camphoae (syn: mistura camphorae)[3]

  • camphor, broken into pieces (1/2 oz) and one gallon of distilled water are combined
  • given in the dose of 1-2 fl oz

Liniment of Aconite / Linimentum Aconiti [4]

  • aconite root, in coarse powder (20 oz), camphor (1 oz), and rectified spirit

Liniment of Belladonna / Linimentum Belladonnae [5]

  • Belladonna root, in coarse powder (20 oz), camphor (1 oz) and rectified spirit

Liniment of Camphor / Linimentum Camphorae [6]

  • camphor (1 oz) is dissolved in 4 fl oz of olive oil
  • used in: Linimentum Chloroformi, Linimentum Hydrargyri, and Linimentum Terebinthinae aceticum

Compound Liniment of Camphor / Linimentum Camphorae Compositum [7]

  • Camphor (2 ½ oz), oil of lavender (1 fl drachm), strong solution of ammonia (5 fl oz), and rectified spirit (15 fl oz) are dissolved together

Liniment of Chloroform / Linimentum Chloroformi [8]

  • Clorophorm (2 fl oz) is mixed with Liniment of Camphor (2 fl oz)

Liniment of Mercury / Linimentum Hydrargyri [9]

  • Ointment of Mercury (1 oz), solution of ammonia (1 fl oz), and liniment of camphor (1 fl oz) and combined

Liniment of Iodine / Linimentum Iodi [10]

  • Iodine (1 ¼ oz), iodine potassium (1/2 oz), Camphor (1/4 oz) and rectified spirit (10 fl oz) dissolved together

Liniment of Soap / Linimentum Saponis [11]

  • Hard soap, cut small (2 ½ oz), Camphor (1 ¼ oz), oil of rosemary (3 fl drachms), rectified spirit (18 fl oz), and distilled water (2 fl oz)
  • used in the preparation of Linimentum Opii (Liniment of Opium)

Compound Liniment of Mustard / Linimentum Sinapis Compositum [12]

  • Oil of mustard (1 fl drachm), ethereal extract of mezereon (40 grains), camphor (120 grains), castor oil (5 fluid drachms), rectified spirit (4 fl oz) (175)

Liniment of Turpentine / Linimentum Terebinthinae [13]

  • soft soap (2 oz), camphor (1 oz), oil of turpentine (16 fl oz)

Liniment of Turpentine and Acetic Acid / Linimentum Terebinthinae Aceticum [14]

  • oil of turpentine (1 fl oz), acetic acid (1 fl oz), and liniment of camphor (1 fl oz)

Spirit of Camphor / Spiritus Camphorae (syn: Tincturea Camphoae) [15]

  • Camphor (1 oz) and rectified spirit (9 fl oz) dissolved together
  • given in a dosage of 10-30 minims

Compound Tincture of Camphor / Tinctura Camphorae Composita (syn: tincture camphorae cum opio, tincture opii camphorate)[16]

  • Opium, in coarse powder (40 grains), benzoic acid (40 grains), camphor (30 grains), oil of anise (1/2 fl drachm), and one pint of proof spirit
  • given in a dose of 15 minims to 1 fl drachm

Compound Ointment of Mercury / Unguentum Hydrargyri Compositum [17]

  • ointment of mercury (6 oz), yellow wax (3 oz) olive oil (3 oz), and camphor (1 ½ oz)

A Compendium of Domestic Medicine, 1865

In small doses it acts as a sedative and diaphoretic, and although it has been used by some practitioners to treat low fevers, nervous and spasmodic diseases, however Savory is doubtful its efficiency.

Treats: restlessness, typhus fever, hysteric and nervous complaints, rheumatism and certain other inflammatory complaints, including painful muscles and joints, scald-head, chapped hands, chilblains. Homoepathists claim it is a cure for cholera. [18]

Remedies Containing or to be used with Camphor Listed in CDM1865

  • Ammonia, Sesquicarbonate of: combined with camphor-julep to act as a stimulant, anti-spasmodic, diaphoretic, or antacid [19]
  • Ammonia, Water Of: used for sever fit of spasms [20]
  • Ammoniated Liniment with Camphor [21]
  • Antimonial Powder: combined with camphor or opium in fevers [22]
  • Armoatic Powder of Chalk: a substitute for the the "aromatic confection", contains camphor-julep[23]
  • Bismuth, White: Gastrodynia with Flatulence, this draught is recommended by Dr Copland, not sure what its used for [24]
  • Camphor Liniment, Compound: used fir sprains, bruises, and rheumatic pains, and good for "introducing opium into the system" [25]
  • Camphor Julep: a solution of camphor that "forms a convenient vehicle for more active stimulants," can treat lowness of spirits, hysterics, spasms of the stomach, &c. [26]
  • Camphor Julep, Concentrated [27]
  • Camphorated Oil: rubefacient and external stimulant, treats inflammatory sore throat, and rheumatism [28]
  • Chalk Prepared: camphor used in preparation, antacid, purgative, and best method used for treating poisoning of oxalic acid. [29]
  • Colocynth: aka Bitter of Apple. Combined with camphor to keep moths from furs, woolen clothes, &c. non-medical [30]
  • Confection of Opium: opium is combined with camphor, or chalk mixtures, or aromatic water.[31]
  • Dover's Powder: diaphoretic and sedative, also given in instances of rheumatism, gout, diabetes, dropsy, diarrhoea, dysentry, fevers. This mixture is for a liquid version of Dover's powder. [32]
  • Eau de Luce: Internally used to treat spasms, hysteria, and fainting. Externally, used against insect stings. [33]
  • Ether, Rectified: camphor is used in the mixture that is recommended in case of violent spasms [34]
  • Ether, Compound Spirit of: Hoffman's Ether. [35]
  • Ether, Acetic: External treatment (the preparation includes camphor) treats rheumatism, and sciatica. For hysteria and nervous affections camphor can be included in a draught.[36]
  • Extract of Henbane: camphor included in the anti-spasmodic pills [37]
  • Galls: camphor or opium can be added to treat piles if needed. [38]
  • Glycerine: camphorated oil can be used in combination with glycerine to create an embrocation to treat rheumatism, gout, bruises, sprains, stiffness, chilblains, &c.[39]
  • Gum Ammoniacum: camphor included in treatment for asthmatic cough. [40]
  • Laudanum: laudanaum mixed with camphorated oil can be used as a liniment to treat pains or spasms, and can also be applied to the pit of the stomach to stop "violent and continued vomiting." [41]
  • Musk: musk is considered by Savory to be one of the most powerful antispasmodics and stimulants. Camphor is included in a treatment for hysterical paroxysms, epilepsy, hooping-cough, "and the later stages of low fevers." [42]
  • Nitre: Diuretic Mixture (?) camphor included [43]
  • Oil of Almonds: camphor included in Anodyne Liniment. [44]
  • Oil of Amber: Camphorated spirit included in an embrocation to treat hooping-cough [45]
  • Opodeldoc Liquid: camphor included in Paregoric Elixir (but does not contain opium) [46]
  • Pellitory of Spain: camphor included in tincture that relieves toothache [47]
  • Potash, Carbonate of: Camphor included in Diaphoretic Draught [48]
  • Sal Ammoniac: Camphorated spirit included in a treatment for sprains, contusions, etc. Camphor included in treatment for Putrid Sore Throat. [49]
  • Sal Volatile, Camphorated: Sal volatile combined with camphor. Used (and more "efficacious that most remedies") to treat depression of the spirits, heartburn, spasms, palpitations, etc [50]
  • Senna Leaves: When used along with camphor-julep or a decoction of guaiacum, "the purgative power of this infusion is greatly increased." [51]
  • Spirit of Camphor: used in external applications. Provides relief from strains or chronic rheumatism, can also be used as a "discutient embrocation" to chilblains. Dentists often recommend this remedy. [52]
  • Spirit of Mindreerus: Contains camphor-julep. Induces sweating (sudorific) when treating colds and fevers. Can also be used in a diaphoretic draught. [53]
  • Spirit of Nitre: Diaphoretic draught, and diuretic draught. [54]
  • Spirit of Sal Voltaire: Spasms of the stomach treatment (camphor-julep). [55]
  • Tartar Emetic: combined with camphor-julep to induce vomiting [56]
  • Tincture of Camphor, Compound: see Paregoric Elixir [57]
  • Tincture of Colchicum, Ammoniated: dose is administered in camphor-julep.[58]
  • Tincture of Guaiacum, Volatile: camphor-julep included in Anti-arthritic Mixture. [59]
  • Tincture of Valerian, Ammoniated: dose can be mixed with camphor-julep (but can also be mixed with milk, or etheral preparations.) [60]

Diseases Treated with Camphor as listed in CDM1865

  • Ague, or Intermittent Fever: Camphor julep included in diaphoretic draught to be administered during the first stage (cold stage) of illness. Camphor julep is also included in a draught that is to be given should this stage be more intense.[61]
  • Ague, or Intermittent Fever "To prevent sickness in persons exposed to Malria (Dr. Copland)": Powdered camphor included in mixture. [62]
  • Asthma: compound tincture of camphor included in draught that is to be given during a fit of asthma. [63]
  • Bruises and Sprains: Camphorated spirits of wine can be mixed with distilled vinegar, and turpentine and topically applied to reduce pain. [64]
  • Catarrh or Cold: in the instance of coryza (swelling of the mucus membrane inside the nose) the patient should be made to hold their head over hot water that contains camphor. In cases of influenza that result in labourious breathing, camphor julep is included in all four of the prescribed mixtures. [65]
  • Chilblains: aromatic camphorated creams, camphorated spirits, and camphor liniment are all used to treat the "painful inflammatory swellings... to which the fingers, toes, heels, and other extreme parts of the body are liable attended with an intolerable degree of itching." [66]
  • Cholera Morbus: camphor is to be given in a pill or draught in cases that continue to exhibit violent vomiting and pain. [67]
  • Cramps, or Spasms: camphorated oil or camphorated spirit can be applied with friction, especially when occurring in the legs. [68]
  • Diarrhoea or Looseness: a camphor liniment can be applied to the "pit of the stomach" to combat cramps (credit given to Dr. Copland) [69]
  • Epilepsy: camphor julep included in draught that is given to stimulate a person whose epilepsy stems from "weakness or nervous irritability." [70]
  • Fainting, or Syncope: When consciousness is regained, a mixture containing camphorated sal-volatile is to be given. A hot spirit of camphor can be used to rouse a patient who remains unconscious. Friction is to be applied to the inner thighs. [71]
  • Flatulence: camphor is one of the recommended forms of treatment. [72]
  • Gout: Camphor combined with calomel is one of the treatments recommended for regular attacks of gout. Dr. Cartwright's pills also include camphor. [73]
  • Headache: A cloth that is wetted with camphorated spirits can be applied to the temples and forehead. Camphor julep is one of the ingredients in a mixture used to treat nervous "headaches, brow ague, and neuralgic pains." [74]
  • Incontinence of Urine: part of the treatment includes rubbing the spine with a camphorated and soap liniment.[75]
  • Menstruation Dysmenorrhoea, or Painful Menstruation: camphor can be used internally to ease pain. [76]
  • Putrid Sore Throat: camphor is included in a few methods of treatment. It can be included in hot water so that the inhaled steam contains some of its properties, the body can be rubbed with camphorated spirits, and camphor can be ingested. [77]
  • Retention of Urine: camphor is included in an mixture used. Savory states that this disease is often caused by enlarged prostate. [78]
  • Rheumatism: camphor julep is mixed with the wine of colchicum (could be poisonous, depends on preparation) is used in the treatment of acute rheumatism. [79]
  • Small-pox: camphor is given to "support the powers of life" once the bowels have been emptied, and means of controlling the fever have been administered. [80]
  • Tic-Douloureux: frictions with camphor liniment can be applied. Camphor is also included in a draught that "has been found to afford instant relief in severe cases of tic-douloureux." [81]
  • Toothache: a pill containing camphor or opium can be administered.[82]
  • Water-brash: camphor-julep is included in one of the treatments, but Savory states that Dr. Jenner's Absorbent Lozenges afford better relief.[83]
  • Wen, or Goitre: a camphorated mercurial ointment can be applied by friction. [84]
  • Whites, or Fluor Albus: camphor-julep included in one of the mixtures used to treat. [85]
  • Hooping or Chincough: compount tincture of camphor is included in Dr. Grave's Hooping-Cough Drops [86]
  • Scarlet Fever: camphor can be used in a gargle or lotion if the throat "is much affected." [87]

Medical Articles Containing Camphor as listed in CDM1865

  • Lotion for Local Inflammation: camphor julep [88]
  • Dr. Bow's Opiate Liniment: compound camphor liniment [89]
  • Dr. Beatty's Remedy for Hooping-Cought: camphorated tincture of opium [90]
  • Dr. Burton's Remedy for Hooping-Cough: powdered camphor [91]
  • Abernethy's Aperient Mixture: Camphor julep [92]
  • Remedy for a Spain: camphorated spirit [93]
  • To Prevent Nightmare: camphor julep [94]

Prescriptions Containing Camphor as listed in CDM1865


  • Antacid Draught (Another): camphor julep [95]
  • Aromatic Chalk Draught: camphor julep [96]

Aperients and Cathartics

  • Aperient Draught (Another): camphor julep [97]


  • Anti-Asthmatic Draught (Another): camphor julep [98]
  • Anti-Hysteric Draught: camphor julep [99]
  • Anti-Hysteri Embrocation: camphorated spirit [100]
  • Antispasmodic Draughts for Spasms of the Stomach arising from Flatulence (Another): camphor julep [101]
  • Antispasmodic Draughts for Spasms of the Stomach arising from Flatulence (Another): camphor julep (to be taken during spasms) [102]
  • Antispasmodic Draughts for Spasms of the Stomach arising from Flatulence (Another): camphor julep ("in palpitation of the heart, from nervous irritability) [103]
  • Draught, and Camphor Pill, for an attack of Spasm: camphor julep, compound tincture of camphor [104]
  • The Pill: camphor in grains [105]


  • Astringent Draught (Another): camphor julep [106]
  • Asiatic Tincture for Cholera: powdered camphor [107]


  • Stomach Mixture: camphor julep [108]


  • Demulcent Mixture (Another): camphor julep [109]


  • Diuretic Draught: camphor julep [110]
  • Strong stimulating Diuretic Draught: camphor julep [111]


  • Cordial and Diaphoretic Mixture: camphor julep [112]
  • Diaphoretic Draught: camphor julep [113]


  • Sedative Draught: Camphor julep [114]


  • Spasms of the Stomach: camphorated spirit [115]
  • An Embrocation for Sprains and Rheumatism: camphor [116]

Narcotics and Anodynes

  • Narcotic Druaght: camphor julep [117]
  • Sedative Lotion: camphor julep [118]
  • Sedative Draught: camphor julep [119]
  • Chloroform Liniment: compound camphor liniment [120]


  • Stimulant Mixture (Another): camphor julep [121]


  • Neuralgia of the Face: camphorated spirit [122]


  1. General Medical Council of Great Britain, British Pharmacopeia, (London: Spottiswoode & Co.,1867), 66
  2. GMCGB, 66
  3. GMCGB, 42-43
  4. GMCGB, 171
  5. GMCGB, 172
  6. GMCGB, 172
  7. GMCGB, 172
  8. GMCGB, 173
  9. GMCGB, 174
  10. GMCGB, 174
  11. GMCGB, 175
  12. GMCGB, 175
  13. GMCGB, 176
  14. GMCGB, 176
  15. GMCGB, 296
  16. GMCGB, 322
  17. GMCGB, 355
  18. Savory, John. A Compendium of Domestic Medicine (London: John Churchill and Sons, 1865), ??.
  19. Savory, 37
  20. Savory, 39
  21. Savory, 40
  22. Savory, 41
  23. Savory, 42
  24. Savory, 53
  25. Savory, 59
  26. Savory, 60
  27. Savory, 60
  28. Savory, 60
  29. Savory, 65
  30. Savory, 48
  31. Savory, 71
  32. Savory, 75
  33. Savory, 75
  34. Savory, 80
  35. Savory, 81
  36. Savory, 81
  37. Savory, 86
  38. Savory, 89
  39. Savory, 92
  40. Savory, 94
  41. Savory, 113
  42. Savory, 124
  43. Savory, 125
  44. Savory, 126
  45. Savory, 127
  46. Savory, 134
  47. Savory, 137
  48. Savory, 142
  49. Savory, 150
  50. Savory, 152
  51. Savory, 154
  52. Savory, 160
  53. Savory, 161
  54. Savory, 163
  55. Savory, 163
  56. Savory, 173
  57. Savory, 177
  58. Savory, 178
  59. Savory, 180
  60. Savory, 185
  61. Savory, 225
  62. Savory, 227
  63. Savory, 229
  64. Savory, 236
  65. Savory, 237-38
  66. Savory, 241
  67. Savory, 243
  68. Savory, 247
  69. Savory, 247
  70. Savory, 251
  71. Savory, 253
  72. Savory, 254
  73. Savory, 255-56
  74. Savory, 258
  75. Savory, 259
  76. Savory, 268
  77. Savory, 269-70
  78. Savory, 271
  79. Savory, 272
  80. Savory, 277
  81. Savory, 278
  82. Savory, 278
  83. Savory, 282
  84. Savory, 283
  85. Savory, 284
  86. Savory, 296
  87. Savory, 301
  88. Savory, 316
  89. Savory, 319
  90. Savory, 319
  91. Savory, 320
  92. Savory, 322
  93. Savory, 322
  94. Savory, 324
  95. Savory, 328
  96. Savory, 330
  97. Savory, 333
  98. Savory, 337
  99. Savory, 337
  100. Savory, 338
  101. Savory, 338
  102. Savory, 338
  103. Savory, 338
  104. Savory, 338
  105. Savory, 338
  106. Savory, 339
  107. Savory, 340
  108. Savory, 342
  109. Savory, 343
  110. Savory, 345
  111. Savory, 346
  112. Savory, 348
  113. Savory, 348
  114. Savory, 350
  115. Savory, 350
  116. Savory, 350
  117. Savory, 352
  118. Savory, 352
  119. Savory, 352
  120. Savory, 352
  121. Savory, 354
  122. Savory, 356

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